Home ScamsScam Catalogue IRS Refund Scam Email

IRS Refund Scam Email

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Emails claim that the recipient is entitled to a tax refund from the IRS and should click a link in the message to fill out an online refund form


Status:
Emails are phishing scams designed to steal private financial information

Example:

Subject: Tax Notification

………………………………………………………………………………………………

We are pleased to inform you that upon review of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $246.30 under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 3-6 days in order to process it.

To get your refund, please access the IRS e-file form.

IRS e-file form (Link to bogus website removed)

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Note: For security reasons, we will record your ip-address, the date and time. Deliberate wrong inputs are criminally pursued and indicted.

Note: Because this letter could help resolve any questions regarding your exempt status, you should keep it in your permanent records.

David Morgan
Director, Tax Refunds Department

ATTN: Dear Applicant,

2009 – Recalculation Tax Refund
After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $284.23

Your TRN (TAX REFUND NUMBER): 2 7 9 0 2 1 6 8 1 5, please fill the payment form attached in the email. Please submit the tax refund and allow us 3-9 business days in order to process it.

Note: For security reasons, we recommend that you close your browser after you have finished accessing your refund status. – For security reasons, we will record your ip-address and date.
– Deliberate wrong inputs are criminally pursued and indicted.
Best Regards,
George Hoffman
Tax Credits Office Agent



Detailed Analysis:
For several years a series of phishing scam emails that claim to be from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have been targeting US taxpayers. The emails inform recipients that they are eligible for a tax refund and instruct them to follow a link to fill out a refund form. The messages are not from the IRS but are instead phishing scams designed to steal personal and financial information from recipients.

Recipients who follow the links provided in the emails are taken to a bogus “tax refund” webform that is designed to resemble a genuine IRS webpage and asked to provide information such as credit card numbers and social security numbers. The scammers can collect any information entered into such bogus webforms and use it for fraud and identity theft

The IRS does not send unsolicited emails to consumers. If you receive one of these emails, do not follow any links provided or supply any information. Do not open any attachments that may arrive with the email.

Scammers use the same “tax refund” ruse to target taxpayers in other nations as well as the United States. For more current information about such tax refund phishing scams please refer to the following articles:



Last updated: 31st July 2009
First published: December 2005
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
IRS Warns of e-Mail Scam about Tax Refunds

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer